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by Edwardson, Debby Dahl

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Prior to the Molly Hootch Act of 1976, which required Alaska to build and staff high schools in even the smallest of the rural villages, children who wished to continue their education beyond what was offered in their communities traveled to BIA or church-supported boarding schools in the lower 48 or more populated parts of Alaska. Luke's Inupiaq experience of leaving his home near the Arctic Circle in 1960 to journey with his two younger brothers to the Catholic sponsored Sacred Heart School is based in large part on Edwardson's husband's memories of boarding school. The author unflinchingly explores both the positive and negative aspects of being away from home at such a young age. Nothing is familiar to Luke and his fellow students; the terrain, the food, the language are strange, and their struggle with feelings of homesickness and alienation is heart-wrenching. Edwardson's skillful use of dialogue and her descriptions of rural Alaska as well as boarding-school life invoke a strong sense of empathy and compassion in readers as they experience Luke's emotions along with him. It is rare that an author can write about a controversial subject such as this without prejudice. Edwardson is to be applauded for her depth of research and her ability to portray all sides of the equation in a fair and balanced manner while still creating a very enjoyable read.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Luke's Inupiaq name is hard like ocean ice grinding at the shore or wind pounding the tundra. But at Alaska's Sacred Heart boarding school, which Luke attends with his brother, Bunna (a third brother is effectively kidnapped and sent to Texas), his name and the nuances of his culture aren't treated as being important. It's the 1960s, though, and the times are a-changing. In lovely, evocative language, Edwardson weaves Luke's story of displacement, loss, and growth into those of his fellow students' in a story about the collision of culture and the growing awareness of civil rights. It's a testament to her skill that even clueless priests and sisters at the school come across as rounded characters; several of them are even aware that military experiments with radioactive drinks, allowed on native students, may be suspect. Some point-of-view changes from first person to third-person omniscient are jarring; nevertheless, this is an illuminating novel of changing perspectives.--Cruze, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-In the early 1960s, an Inupiaq boy is sent from his home near the Arctic Circle to be educated in a Catholic-sponsored school where he struggles with homesickness and alienation as well as strange customs and an unfamiliar language. A heartrending and memorable story of a child who is thrust into a difficult and harsh environment. (Nov.) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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by Aaron Becker.

Publishers Weekly Becker develops concepts for film studios, and his wordless picture book debut reads like a cinematic tribute to Harold and the Purple Crayon. Drab sepia drawings introduce a lonely girl whose afternoon is jolted into life (and full color) when she uses a piece of red chalk to draw a door on her wall, walking through it into a lantern-lit forest with a winding river. Drawing a red boat, she drifts toward a breathtaking castle city whose gleaming turrets and domes promise adventure and intrigue. Yet she does not linger-she draws a hot-air balloon, takes to the air, and encounters a squadron of magnificent, steampunk-style airships manned by soldiers who have trapped a phoenix-like bird. Her release of the bird earns the ire of the airmen, the bird in turn rescues her, and a clever resolution leads the girl to a friend with his own magic chalk. Wonder mixes with longing as the myriad possibilities offered by Becker's stunning settings dwarf what actually happens in the story. Readers will be both dazzled and spurred on imagined travels of their own. Ages 4-8. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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